This is a collection of short stories of Canadian Mennonites written by a Mennonite, Darcie Friesen Hossack set primarily on the Canadian Prairies.
In one of the stories called Ashes, Anke has lost her husband Abraham and has no choice but to sell her house to her son Matthew who is newly married to Libby. Anke feels as though she's the unwelcome guest in the upstairs bedroom. She wonders if they appreciate her sacrifice.
Libby, the new daughter in-law has taken over and wants to make the house hers. Anke dislikes Libby instantly and feels that Libby is trying to change things.
It begins with Anke and Libby bickering over how many peaches go into one peach pie. Libby begins by heaping peaches in one pie crust and is soon corrected by Anke who can make six peach pies out of all those peaches. Anke begins by scooping out all the fruit in the one pie and dividing it into six pie crusts and now six pies go into the oven.
Libby is expecting her very first child and her mother in-law Anke wants the baby to be named Abraham after Anke's late husband, but Libby rejects naming her baby after a dead person.
Libby decides on the name Abel. Anke is getting angrier with each moment and says "so you won't use the name of my dead husband, but you would curse a child with the name of the first person murdered on this earth." Libby then asks her mother in-law "what if it's a girl?." Anke replies by saying she doesn't want any "new-age" names. Anke insists on a solid German European name like Ruth, after her late baby daughter.
Tragedy strikes and Anke and Libby have bridged the generation gap for now. They both have something in common and their lives have changed forever.
Throughout the stories, God is Supreme in the houses of the Mennonites. Whatever happens in life whether good or bad, it is the will of God and He is not to be questioned.
In the Mennonite home, the father rules while the mother tends to the children and to the home, yet still taking instructions from her husband.
They are always confronted by the conflict of Tradition and Change with the young Mennonites growing up.
Although the Mennonites' culture is different than any other culture, many of the problems that arise can happen in all homes.
This collection of stories is a GEM. Darcie Friesen Hossack's writing is so beautiful, honest and full of grace. Her Characters are vibrant and full of personality.
Mennonites Don't Dance would make a wonderful gift for any occasion but particularly as a stocking stuffer at Christmas. I enjoyed this book of stories and can highly recommend it.